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24/7 Media Launches Ad Serving System, Puts Profiling Plans on Hold

Ad firm 24/7 Media Monday launched its Internet ad serving system, 24/7 Connect, but dropped plans to use combined online and offline profile data to target ads for the system.

When the company first announced it was developing 24/7 Connect back in November 1999, a company press release said it would offer "the first global data repository capable of delivering targeted advertisements based on a user's online and offline profile."

But now, in the wake of DoubleClick's decision to postpone such merging of online and offline data, 24/7 is also stepping back from its earlier plans.

"We wish to state emphatically that we have never merged anonymous clickstream data with personally identifiable data, and we pledge not to do so until our industry, working together with governmental agencies, establishes standards in this regard," said David Moore, chief executive officer of 24/7 Media, in a statement released concurrently with information about the 24/7 Connect launch.

The announcement by 24/7 Media highlights the fact that, although industry leader DoubleClick has taken the majority of the heat for its privacy practices, other advertising companies have plans to take similar steps.

The introduction of 24/7 Connect puts the company in the ad serving technology business, where it has previously been using AdForce. 24/7 Media touts its new network as featuring "next generation" technology not available in other ad serving systems.

The new ad server is being offered on two platforms: 24/7 Connect for Networks, which will initially serve the 24/7 Media network in the United States, and 24/7 Connect for Advertisers and Publishers (formerly Sabela for Advertiser and Publishers), which is the company's third-party ad serving solution. The company expects to combine the two platforms into a single solution for Web publishers later this year.

24/7 executives tout the system's ability to serve ads across multiple networks globally from a centralized data storage repository, a feature the company believes will be important as companies seek to send a message across international networks. 24/7 Connect for Networks also offers the ability to integrate traditional online ad delivery with mail, sponsorship, and local market components.

In conjunction with the launch of 24/7 Connect, the company also started 24/7 Media Technology Solutions, which will be headed by James Green, previously chief executive officer of Sabela Media, which 24/7 acquired in January. The new division will oversee the deployment, sales and support of 24/7 Connect and the e.merge technology platform, which enables the delivery of broadband video programming over a variety of Internet-enabled devices.